Angel of Taq Bostan (Milyaketiya Taq Wasan)
Taq Bostan is an ancient site near Kermanshah (East-Kurdistan) with multiple Sassanid-era rock reliefs. The most impressive rock relief is the large arch. It has, among other things, depictions of several angels, carvings of the huntings grounds of the Sassanian Kings, and a Crowning Ceremony of the Kings. Some of the carvings still have their original colours.
This ancient site, which has been turned into an archaeological park, has withstood the fierce climate of the Kurdish Zagros Mountains for over 1,700 years. One of the best preserved carvings is that of an angel. She holds out the "Farr" (Ring of Divine Glory) in her right hand, while holding a bowl with grapes in her left. There is another angel on the left side of the grand arch, but the lower half of his/her body has been lost.
The Persian name for the site is "Taq Bostan". The Kurdish name for the same site is "Taq Wasan". The original Sassanid name was "Taq Owsan". As you can read, the Kurdish name is closer to its original. This is because Kurdish is more closely related to the Sassanian language than Persian is. In fact, the founder of the Sassanian Empire, Ardashir the First, is called a Kurd in an ancient letter he received from his Parthian rival Ardavan the Fifth: -
"You've bitten off more than you can chew
and you have brought death to yourself.
O son of a Kurd, raised in the tents of the Kurds,
who gave you permission to put a crown on your head?"
Source: "Kar-Namag i Ardashir i Pabagan" (Book of the Deeds of Ardeshir, Son of Papak). As we know now, Ardavan V was the one who lost, and the Sassanian Empire grew to become a world power for centuries. It was the only entity to withstand the might of Rome & Byzantium.
The Kurdish regions of the Middle-East hold the largest quantity and most important Sassanian relics.
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